The Center formerly known as “Center for Nonprofits” — now the “CommNS”!

Nancy Nicolas Hall in the winter

Submitted by Abby Pansch
University of Wisconsin-Madison 2015
Community and Nonprofit Leadership, Environmental Studies

2014 was a transformational year for the Center for Nonprofits– from engaging in a comprehensive strategic planning process coalescing a plan around the Center’s new action research focus, to hosting a first annual event focused on “Inquiry and Action”, which brought together nearly 100 community leaders and academics to discuss leading issues that affect today’s civil society.

In conformity with the new focus of the Center and its exciting new strategic plan and vision for the future, the Center for Nonprofits has officially changed its name to the Center for Community and Nonprofit Studies, also referred to as the “CommNS”. This shift in nomenclature — and the Center’s mission — focuses on community-centric inquiry and action, as well as multi-level and interdisciplinary approaches to engaged scholarship. The new direction of the CommNS also emphasizes participatory, action-oriented, and community-based research. Community action, with nonprofits as critical mediators within communities, effectuate social change through collective action.

The CommNS leverages partnerships and collaborations among UW researchers, students, other academics, community leaders and groups, and nonprofit organizations, for high impact inquiry and action to address root causes of key social issues.

If you are interesting in engaging with the CommNS, please contact Falon Deimler ( to find out ways you can get involved.

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